IN THE NEWS A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE

Prayer for God's perfect peace in the Middle East

Peace. It's probably not stretching things to say that most people want peace—in their homes, their neighborhoods, their countries. One region of the world that is notorious for not being peaceful is the Middle East. The unrest there goes back many centuries, and is chronicled in the Bible. Just flipping through the Book of books will bring you face to face with the names of modern-day Middle Eastern countries, such as Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Their borders have fluctuated down through the ages, but their names remain the same. And if you listen to the news, you're aware of the ebbing and flowing tension among them.

In such a fluid environment, is it possible to find any lasting peace? Centuries ago a writer in the Hebrew Bible reported that "they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel" (I Kings 22:1). Accepting that as historically true, we can hope and pray that since peace was once possible between Syria and Israel, it is possible again today. And hope is one reason why the government of Turkey has been reaching out to its southernmost neighbor, Syria, and to Israel, with whom Turkey has close ties, by facilitating indirect peace talks between these two long-time enemies.

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